Faculty

Stepping Stones Program

Laura Arzeno is the Lead Teacher for the Stepping Stones Program at the Bridgewater facility. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from College of Saint Elizabeth. She has completed her Infant/Toddler Montessori Training at Princeton Center for Teacher Education. This is Laura's first year at Raritan Valley Montessori Academy.

Stefanie Fedora is the Head Teacher in our Stepping Stones Classroom at The Cherry Blossom. She has her BFA from Centenary College and received her Montessori certification from Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE). Stefanie has been with our school since January 2004. 

Cindy Fonzetti has been with The Cherry Blossom Montessori since 2000. Cindy has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, has been teaching pre-school children for 31 years and has supervised after-school programs for elementary children. She opened our first Stepping Stones Program at CBM and has worked as a Co-Teacher in the Primary Program. She is currently a Co-Teacher in the Stepping Stones Program at The Cherry Blossom.

Adaobi Ibida is an Assistant for the Stepping Stones Program at our Bridgewater site. She holds a B.A. in developmental psychology and a Global Health Certificate both from Duke University. While in college, she worked as a tutor for a Montessori school in Durham, NC for four years. This is Adaobi's first year at Raritan Valley Montessori Academy.

Mahnaz Vaziri is an Assistant in our Stepping Stones Program at Raritan Valley Montessori but has also worked in our Primary Program and Kindergarten Enrichment. Previously she was a co-owner and manager of a novelty store for ten years. Mahnaz worked for one year in childcare before joining our school in 2007.


Primary Program

Joanna Byra is a Co-Teacher in the Primary Program at The Cherry Blossom and has a Master's Degree in Economics. She has worked as a child care provider and studied English as a second language at Seton Hall University. After becoming a US Citizen, Joanna began working for CBM in 2006. She obtained her Early Childhood certification from Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE).

Stacy Catoggio is a Lead Teacher in the Primary Program and is the Kindergarten Enrichment Teacher at our Hillsborough site. She has worked at The Cherry Blossom Montessori School since 1996. Stacy completed her Montessori training at New Gate School in Sarasota, Florida.

Linda Freitag is a Co-Teacher in the Primary Program at our Bridgewater facility. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and completed her Montessori early childhood education and certification through The Christopher Academy, where her Montessori philosophic research paper was recommended for publication by Head of School. Linda launched her full-time Montessori career in 2001 at Raritan Valley Montessori.
 

Shweta Jain is a Co-Teacher in the Primary Program at our Bridgewater campus. She has a background in apparel design from The National Institute of Fashion Design, Mumbai. She has been a substitute teacher at a traditional preschool since 2008 and has taken her Early Childhood training from Princeton Center for Teacher Education in 2011.  

Anu Krishnan is a Head Teacher in the Primary Program at The Cherry Blossom Montessori. She is Montessori certified in Early Childhood from PCTE and has been with us since 2001. Anu has her BS in Zoology and her Associate Degree in Computer Science. She also obtained her Masters degree in Education from the University of Phoenix. Before becoming a teacher, Anu worked as a computer program analyst.

Stacey Murray joined our Bridgewater Primary Program in 2011 as an Assistant Teacher. Prior to joining RVM, she worked as a Certified Human Resources Professional specializing in Training/Development, and Payroll/Benefits with JPMorgan Chase Bank for 13 years. Stacey was introduced to the Montessori Education in 2003 where she served as Classroom Parent, Field Trip and Fund Raising Organizer, and Librarian at other Montessori schools.
 

Carol Nittoli has been teaching in the Primary Program at Raritan Valley Montessori since 1994. She is a Lead Teacher in the Primary Program and the Kindergarten Enrichment Program at the Bridgewater site. Carol's Montessori training is for children aged 2 1/2 through 6.

Chitra Raghunathan joined us in 2013 and is a Lead Teacher in the Primary Program at Raritan Valley Montessori Academy. She holds a Master’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Toledo, Ohio and has previously worked as a research scientist at various pharmaceutical companies before embarking on her journey into Montessori education. She has always had a passion for early childhood education and is currently pursuing her Early Childhood credential from Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE).

Minna Shao is a Co-Teacher in the Primary Program at The Cherry Blossom Montessori. She has been a Piano and Flute instructor since 2000. She holds a BA in Music from Thomas Edison State College and has completed her Montessori Early Childhood certification from Princeton Center for Teacher Education. Minna is currently completing her MA in Teaching through The College of New Jersey.

Carrie Ward has a B.A. in Art History from Rutgers University. She is a Head Teacher for the Primary Program at our Bridgewater Site. Carrie teaches Kindergarten and Elementary Fine Arts at our Bridgewater location and Elementary drama at our Hillsborough site. She is certified by the American Montessori Society in Early Childhood Education for ages 3-6 from the Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE). Carrie has been with the school since 2005.
 


Elementary Program

Genna Becker joined us this Fall 2013 as a Co-Teacher in the Lower Elementary Program at our Bridgewater location. She has a B.A. in French and Childhood Education from Wagner College. Genna is also NJ state certified to teach grades K-6 and special education.

Hemani Kathuria is a Co-Teacher in our Elementary Program at Raritan Valley Montessori. She received her Bachelor’s of Commerce from Delhi University and a certification in Chartered Accountancy.  Hemani has been teaching at RVM since 2008 and has taught in our Primary Program. Prior to joining our school, she worked in internal auditing. Hemani obtained her Early Childhood and Elementary certification from Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE).

Maneesha Dave is a Co-Teacher in the Lower Elementary Program at The Cherry Blossom Montessori School. She received her Early Childhood Certification from Princeton Center for Teacher Education. Maneesha joined our school in 2003, taught in our Primary Program for 5 years and has now returned to work in our Lower Elementary Program. She has a B.A. in Economics and Education and a certification in Computer science.  

Bindu Sharma is the Master Teacher for the Lower and Upper Elementary Programs at our Bridgewater Site. She has a B.A. in Education and a B.A. in Commerce. She is Montessori certified to teach ages 3 to 9 years old. She has been teaching in Montessori Schools since 1989 and has taught both nationally and internationally.

Nancy Tamburello has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of San Diego. She is a Head Teacher in the Elementary Program at the Hillsborough site. Nancy has her American Montessori credential in Early Childhood Education for ages 3-6 and Elementary Education from Princeton Center for Teacher Education. She has been with our schools since 2003.

Kelly Warren is the Head Teacher in the Upper Elementary Program at our Bridgewater site. She is a 2008 Kean graduate with a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. Kelly has experience with children whose ages range from infants to 17 years old. She has 4 years experience teaching all age levels and children with emotional and behavioral disorders.

Carol Young is the Head Teacher in the Upper Elementary Program at our Hillsborough site. She has been a Montessori directress for over three decades. Carol has a B.S. degree in both education and science from Murray State University. She is AMI certified in ages 3 to 12 years old and AMS certified in ages 12-15. Carol is experienced as a Montessori consultant, curriculum director and teacher trainer. She has been traveling and setting up Montessori Elementary Programs in New Mexico, Arizona and Florida for over ten years. 


Afterschool Program

Karen Chrobock is the Head of our Afterschool Program at our Bridgewater site. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Health and Physical Education from Montclair State University. Karen has over 30 years of experience in both the Educational and Recreational environments working with students of all ages. She joined RVM in the Fall of 2013. 

Jennifer Kitchen is an Assistant in the Afterschool Program (ASP) in Bridgewater. She holds a bachelors degree from Georgian Court University. Jennifer has worked in our Elementary program and at both of our sites as a substitute. Prior to joining our school in 2007, Jennifer worked in a variety of fields, including several years as a web designer. 


Specials

Nancy Cesta joined our staff in 2005 and is responsible for Stepping Stone, Primary and Elementary music education at both the Hillsborough and Bridgewater sites. She earned her B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Marketing from Muhlenberg College. Music has always been the main course in her life, through the many years of studying piano, vocal performance and extensive study of music theory in college. Prior to joining our staff, Nancy spent over 15 years as a market researcher. 

Kim Cheifer joined The Cherry Blossom in 2011 as a substitute teacher and is now the art teacher at that site. She is a NJ certified art teacher who has taught students of all ages in New Jersey schools for 4 years and taught art workshops to children and adults for 15 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in art education at The College of New Jersey, with three years of fine art training at Ringling School of Art & Design in Florida. Kimberly has taught beginning drawing, painting, sculpture, and craft classes at Hunterdon Central High School, and volunteered art classes for migrant children at the SAFE house in Hunterdon. Her broad range of art experience covers drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, book arts, fiber arts, ceramics, and digital arts. Kimberly’s art has toured with the United Nations in Europe, has earned a NY Arts Council grant, and continues to be collected across the country. This summer, she wrote and illustrated a children’s book about otters that is being published through the Center for the Advancement of Art-Based Literacy at the University of New Hampshire.

Sandra Hurtado teaches Spanish to our Primary and Elementary students at both sites. She is originally from Colombia, South America and has a Bachelor's Degree in Pedagogy and a Bachelor Degree in Modern Languages. Sandra has a Masters Degree in Spanish Linguistics. Before joining Raritan Valley Montessori, she taught at both the Elementary and High School level.

Anthony Medina teaches Physical Education and Technology at both Raritan Valley and The Cherry Blossom Montessori sites. He graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Health and Physical Education from Montclair State University and has worked as a substitute teacher. Anthony has great passion for athletic sports, playing on various sports teams including Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Wrestling. He also has experience coaching recreational sports.

Carrie Ward has a B.A. in Art History from Rutgers University. She is a Head Teacher for the Primary Program at our Bridgewater Site. Carrie teaches Kindergarten and Elementary Fine Arts at our Bridgewater location and Elementary drama at our Hillsborough site. She is certified by the American Montessori Society in Early Childhood Education for ages 3-6 from the Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE). Carrie has been with the school since 2005.

 

 

 

 

 



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